National beach champions crowned in New Zealand; 2024 Ukrainian tour gets underway

Zeimann and Polley, Fuller and Nicklin triumph with the national titles in Mount Maunganui while Vitalii Savvin and Anton Moiseiev and Inna Makhno and Sofiia Rylova claim gold in Ukraine

While New Zealand’s 2024 national beach volleyball tour ended with the Finals in Mount Maunganui crowning the Pacific country’s champions last week, Ukraine held this year’s first stop on their national beach volleyball tour in Kyiv.

 

New Zealand

After three stops earlier this year, the 2024 GJ Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour presented by Tip Top held its Finals in Mount Maunganui over the weekend. Despite losing their first set of the entire tour this year, top-seeded Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley (pictured in the main photo; credits: phototek.co.nz) once again cruised through the tournament unbeaten to triumph with their fourth gold, claiming the women’s national champions’ title. In Sunday’s final, they mastered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) victory over USA’s Alaina Chacon and Mariah Whalen, the same duo that pushed them to a tie-breaker earlier in the tournament. The bronze went to another American pair, Peri Green and Victoria Corcoran, after their 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) sweep of the third-place match against Meile Rose Green and Katie Sadlier.

Women’s results and standings

John McManaway and Thomas Reid, who had two previous podiums on the Tour this year, finally made it to the top of the standings. The duo snatched gold in an impressive 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-11) comeback in their semifinal against the American pairing of 44-year-old legend Phil Dalhausser and 32-year-old Taylor Crabb, who won gold at the previous stop in Christchurch. Dalhausser is a four-time Olympian, a Beijing 2008 Olympic champion, a 2007 world champion, a 2010 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season champion and a 38-time gold medallist at FIVB tournaments, and Crabb is another well-established American star. In the final, McManaway and Reid followed up with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) victory over Canada’s Jake MacNeil and Alexander William Russell to top the podium. Top-seeded Dalhausser and Crabb suffered another upset in the third-place match, seeing a 2-0 (22-20, 21-12) defeat at the hands of Bradley Fuller and Alani Nicklin, who claimed the bronze, their fourth medal in four tour stops.

Fuller and Nicklin also topped the overall final tour standings to claim the 2024 men’s national title.

Men’s results and standings

Ukraine

The SUNRISE indoor beach sports complex in Kyiv hosted the first stop of the Ukrainian national tour in 2024. In Sunday’s final of the men’s tournament, Vitalii Savvin and Anton Moiseiev produced a 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) win over Volodymyr Kushch and Volodymyr Kelbas. Oleksii Bublyk and Yaroslav Tymchenko took the bronze after a forfeit win of the third-place game.

Men’s results and standings

The women’s gold went to Inna Makhno and Sofiia Rylova after a 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) sweep of the final match against Maryna Hladun and Tetiana Lazarenko. By the very same score, Valentyna Davidova and Olga Mykhailovska defeated Yeva Serdiuk and Daria Romaniuk in the bronze medal game.

Women’s results and standings